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2018 Will Bring More OWI Law Changes

by | Jan 4, 2018 | Blog

The Wisconsin Legislature has a number of bills in the works related to OWI laws. Keeping with the current nationwide trends, Wisconsin has been passing legislation that results in tougher penalties for OWI offenders. 2017 Senate Bill 135 and 2017 Assembly Bill 197 provide for permanent revocation of a person’s operating privileges due to the commission of certain OWI offenses. The person would also not be eligible for an occupational driving permit (which allows limited driving) and could only apply for reinstatement after ten years have passed.

Individuals facing fifth or sixth offense OWI cases will also be facing longer minimum prison time if 2017 Senate Bill 72 and 2017 Assembly Bill 99 become law. This legislation proposes to increase the minimum term of imprisonment in these cases to at least 18 months. The current statutory minimum is set at six months.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) laws in Wisconsin have also changed recently. In cases where the court enters an order after December 10, 2017 requiring that an IID be installed, the court may now specify a date by which the device has to be installed. In addition to the monetary and incarceration penalties that were previously in place where individuals failed to install the IID or had disconnected or tampered with the device, courts must now extend the IID restriction for six months per violation.

OWI law is not only technical, but changes frequently. It is important to have an attorney that not only keeps current with these changes, but is well versed in all aspects of the OWI process. If you have questions or concerns about an OWI issue, please feel free to contact our firm to set up a consultation.

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Bosshard | Parke Ltd. in La Crosse serves clients throughout the Coulee Region, western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota and beyond, including many in the Onalaska and Sparta, Wisconsin, and La Crescent, Minnesota, areas.